Visual Basic

Jump to: navigation, search
Visual Basic
Image of the Visual Basic 6 IDE
Paradigm Object-oriented and Event-driven
Developer Microsoft
Latest release VB6/ 1998
Typing discipline Static, strong
Influenced by BASIC
Influenced Visual Basic .NET, Gambas, REALbasic, Basic4ppc
OS Windows, DOS

Visual Basic (VB) is the third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for its COM programming model. The final release was version 6 in 1998. Microsoft's extended support ended in March 2008 and the designated successor was Visual Basic .NET (now known simply as Visual Basic).[1]

Two other languages that contain the "Visual Basic" name are Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET). VBA is primarily used for macros and extensions in applications, whereas VB.NET is a compiler-based language used for creating stand-alone applications.

Microsoft continues to support VBA in Office for Windows.[2]


VBA is used to create macros and scripts in Esri’s flagship software ArcGIS Desktop. Visual Basic 6.0 (VB 6.0) was used to aid in software development for ArcGIS Desktop until Esri announced that ArcGIS 9.3.1 was the last release to support VB 6.0. VB 6.0 will not work in version 10 and onward because Esri no longer installs the required DLLs with their software. VBA is supported in version 10, but is not installed by default and requires the user to call Esri support to obtain a license. After version 10, Esri no longer supports VBA.[3][4] Suggested alternatives include Python for scripting[5] and Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) for software development,[6] although Desktop also supports C++, C#, and other code as well.

External Links


  1. VB has been deprecated in favor of Visual Basic .NET, although conversion from VB to VB.NET can be non-trivial. Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center.
  2. Clarfication on VBA Support From MSDN blog. Accessed 27 July 2010.
  3. ArcGIS Deprecation Plans. From the Resource Center. Accessed 22 July2010.
  4. Migrating VBA Customizations to ArcGIS 10. From the Resource Center. Accessed 22 July 2010.
  5. Using Python in ArcGIS Desktop 10. From Esri Training. Accessed 22 July 2010.
  6. Convert Esri ArcGIS Visual Basic 6.0 applications to .NET